Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Jordan Gunderson and Melissa Rooney

Generation of givers

Millennials have grown to become a generation that is looked down upon because we are said to have narcissistic tendencies and no work ethic. It doesn’t help our cause when we consider taking a picture down from Instagram because it doesn’t get enough likes.

As this holiday season comes into full gear, I propose that millennials team up to destroy this misconception about our generation. I say that we show the nation and the world that we are more than what we tweet, post, or share; we are more than our neverending stream of selfies. Let’s unite for a cause that is greater than our own: giving.

How do we change the misconceptions of our generation? Give. We have Black Friday. We have Cyber Monday. Now, there is Giving Tuesday. A day that isn’t about trying to buy everything because “the deal was just too good.” This is a day that portrays what every day in our world should be like. A day where giving rather than receiving is key, a day where selfless love is shown and exemplified through the best qualities of individuals around the world.

According to Giving Tuesday’s website, last year over $116 million was raised online in over 70 countries. Imagine how much more this world could raise if millennials bonded together? Until recent events, our generation didn’t realize how much of an impact we had on this nation. Now is the time to realize what we can do.

However, we can’t start a fire of giving and charity without first igniting the flame – that starts within your own community. There are over 100 nonprofit organizations in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area alone. I am an APPLES Service-Learning volunteer for one of these organizations, Strowd Roses, Inc. This private foundation awards grants to nonprofits that serve Chapel Hill-Carrboro in the hopes of cultivating a greater quality of life for the members of the local community.

Giving Tuesday is a day to consider others before you consider yourself. Millennials shouldn’t be OK with the stereotype of being a generation filled with selfies and participation trophies. Through Giving Tuesday, we can be a generation who is defined by devoting our time, energy and resources to help make this world a better place. Whether you give nationally or locally, whether you give time or money, just give.

Jordan Gundersen

UNC, Class of 2017

The power to change

One of my friends was traumatized when she saw a truckload of pigs, piled on top of one another, going off to slaughter a few days ago.

We meat (and egg/milk/cheese, etc.) eaters need to hold ourselves accountable for making what was once called “animal hubandry” such a heinous corporate practice. If you BUY the product, then you SUPPORT the practices used to produce it, plain and simple. There are plenty of locally owned businesses that sell “happy meat,” as my family calls it. You can buy 1 lb. or you can buy half a cow.

Not only do we need to treat our fellow earthlings with humanity, we need to support local businesses instead of (or at least as well as) Amazon and Harris Teeter. Trump isn’t going to change America. Hillary certainly wouldn’t have changed it either. The only thing that is going to change America is for Americans to change.

Melissa Rooney

Note: Rooney, a former columnist for The Durham News, can be reached via her website at